Weekly photo challenge: Face

If you’re looking for some mild amusement, and you have an Apple computer, check out the Faces option in the ‘Apple Photos’ application. It collects images of faces, that is, anything that resembles two human eyes above a nose above a mouth. It doesn’t always get it right. Sometimes it finds sculpted faces, though they can look real enough, like these resting on top of the pond in the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery, faces that produce a physical reaction in passers-by:

Heads National Gallery Sculpture Garden
Dadang Christanto, ‘Heads from the North’ 2004, Sculpture Garden, National Gallery of Australia

It’s not just 3D images it finds; even 2D painted faces are thrown into the collection with photos of real faces. Here it places two faces from For of Such is the Kingdom of Heaven by Frank Bramley (1891) hanging in the Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand, next to my beautiful daughters-in-law:

Beautiful girls painted and real

How about this image of a sun sinking into the sea? I do love a good sunset, but if I’m looking for the reassurance of a human face, I prefer my son, not the sun!

Sunset and handsome boy

But even more mysterious, curious and ridiculous, a photo of a kangaroo’s tail and back legs, sideways. I’ve looked at this circle with my glasses on and glasses off. I can’t see any face. But it’s good for a laugh!

Kangaroo tail, sideways

It was truly surprising to see all the faces (recognised by Apple) from my photos. There were even some I had previously ignored for being too small or blurry in the background of another subject. As I was scrolling through them all, another son walked into the room and exclaimed his delight at all the faces of our family and friends appearing in a long stream across my screen. It was a bit of fun, and was fit fodder for the photo challenge this week.


Weekly photo challenge: Eerie

New Zealand, Auckland Art Gallery:  I was there this afternoon.  When I saw this painting, I thought of the ‘Eerie’ photo theme…

In nineteenth-century literature and paintings I’ve come to expect bereaved women to wear black, so when I worked out that the women and girls in white were not celebrating but grieving, I was a bit shocked.  All these white dresses suddenly took on a pallour that moments before had in my mind been the colour of a wedding or communion.  It’s particularly sad to see, not men, but women bearing the small white coffin.

Frank Bramley combined social realism with painting en plein air, out of doors. There don’t seem to be any male children in the cortège, but there are some boys in the group of children off to the right, who seem to belong to fishing families.  Their ruddiness suggests they are  healthier than the girls, who look a bit grey, as though they may all be afflicted by the same curse.

If ‘eerie’ means strange and frightening, the suggestion of something lurking that we might not want to know about, then this photo is it.

Bramley_KIngdom of Heaven
‘For of Such is the Kingdom of Heaven’, Frank Bramley, 1891, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand